6 Strategies for Coping With Change
As the seasons shift and the year starts its gradual end, it’s a great metaphor and reminder for personal change and growth. For many, life changes can be uncomfortable, scary, and even cause anxiety. If that sounds like you, keep reading.
Change is growth.
It’s the addition of something new, not the subtraction of something old. It’s taking steps toward becoming a better version of yourself, not becoming a completely new person.
When you view life changes as opportunities to make improvements, learn something new, develop stronger relationships, and seek joy, change becomes a lot less scary and a lot more exciting.
Sure, change doesn’t always mean growth. Sometimes shifts happen in our lives—like losing a job or a loved one—that don’t immediately lead to growth, unless we choose for them to do so. But with the right mindset and a few tools, that choice becomes a little easier.
Here are 6 tips for coping with change and learning to grow through it instead of run from it.
1. Recognize and Acknowledge the Change
Denial is a powerful force that leads to inaction and avoidance, two things that make life a lot harder than it needs to be. When you’re facing a major change, or even a little one, the first step is acknowledging it and choosing to accept it’s happening. This allows you to move forward and adapt instead of staying put and feeling stuck.
2. Seek Information and Support
When a change initially occurs, you might feel shocked, confused, and overwhelmed. During this stage it might be a good idea to talk with trusted friends and loved ones about your situation and seek to understand it a little better. It can also be helpful to speak with your therapist about what you’re going through and talk through your options moving forward. Be intentional about who you speak to—ensure they’re trusted and truly have what’s best for you in mind.
3. Ask Yourself, “What’s the best thing that can happen?”
Often, we’re afraid of change because we fear the unknown. However, a lot of life’s greatest moments stem from a major life-changing event that ended up propelling us in a positive direction. It’s easier to focus on worst-case scenarios and get caught up in the “what-ifs.” But if you shift your focus and think about best-case scenarios instead, you’ll not only feel more positively moving forward, but a lot of your fear will melt away.
4. Write About It
Journaling can be a great tool for coping with stress and developing strategies for moving forward. Jot down what the change is, how you’re feeling about it, and what you view as your options. You can also write out any positives stemming from the change to help you focus on the good instead of ruminating on the bad. For instance, if you’re moving across the country for a spouse’s job, positives might include:
- Opportunity to meet new friends
- A new community to explore and engage with
- A new home to design and decorate just the way you like
5. Pray About It
Spending time in prayer opens you up to any suggestions God has for you. When you’re going through a change, leave your heart and mind open to what God has to say and listen for His push. There’s no right or wrong way to pray—it’s merely a conversation between you and God. Tell Him where you’re at, where you’re struggling, and ask for guidance. Then, listen. He’s always there and He’ll always answer.
6. Give Yourself a Break
Change is tough. You’re allowed to feel a bit out of control and uncertain for a while. This is the part of the process where growth occurs. But true growth requires rest. So next time you’re experiencing change, give yourself the space to take a deep breath, take a break, and then keep moving forward.
If you’re going through a major change right now, know that something great can grow from it and you’re never alone.
Need someone to talk to? We’d love to help you understand your options and make a plan for growth—or just provide a listening ear if that’s what you need. Contact us today and let’s start building your better tomorrow.